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now a Health Alert diet or regular soda if it seems like an obvious choice you may be wrong a new study links diet soda to heart attack stroke and early death Melanie Lawson shows us why and looks at how much diet soda is too much it's the artificial sweetener that's the concern it's associated with an increased risk of clot based strokes heart attacks and early death in women older than 50 the American Heart Association and Stroke Association compiled this study and the risk were highest for women with no history of heart disease or diabetes and women who were obese or African American so this was a big study they tracked 80,000 postmenopausal women for close to 12 years asking them how often they drank a diet beverage they found women who drank two or more of these beverages every day were 31 percent more likely to have a clot based stroke and 29 percent more likely to have heart disease and 16 percent more likely to die from any cause than women who drink fewer are none at all and women with no history of heart disease or diabetes and were obese were twice as likely to have a clot based stroke and black women without a history we're about four times as likely to have that happen last year Americans drank more than 3 billion gallons of diet soda out of the total 12 point two billion gallons of carbonated beverages the researchers pointed out they can't say because you drink soda this will happen or vice versa they call it only an association now doctor suggests drinking more water and natural beverages like unsweetened herbal teas the study's author said because it's diet with no calories doesn't mean it's harmless Melanie Lawson Channel four the local station

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